Was Uğur Mumcu's blood left unavenged?

24 Ocak 2024 Çarşamba

Today is January 24th. It marks 31 years since the assassination of Uğur Mumcu on a snowy winter day... The day when, upon hearing the news in Ankara, my parents and I hugged each other, frozen in pain in front of the television, crying. The funeral that turned into a democratic oath for the people was one of the most shocking days of my life.

The reason for asking the question in the title today is the editorial titled "Blood on the Ground," published in Cumhuriyet three days after Mumcu's assassination. After quoting from it, I will answer the question in my article's title.

"Every person's life is sacred; none is more valuable than another, nor is one less valuable than the other... The right to life is foremost among human rights.

In recent years, terrorism has claimed many lives. After each murder, state officials have said similar things. One of the most frequently used phrases has become clichéd:

'The blood of the victim of terrorism will not be left on the ground...'

Many people have adopted this phrase without understanding its meaning. However, this approach can also be interpreted as reminiscent of a blood feud. The state must identify, apprehend, and bring the murderer to justice. The failure to fulfill this seemingly natural duty, the increase in unsolved murders, has forced officials to make 'consoling' and 'calming' statements like 'The killed's blood will not be left on the ground.'

The cowardly assassination of Uğur Mumcu created deep and widespread reactions among people from all parts of life in Turkey. The event is like a focal point of our current era. The murder cannot merely be viewed as a police case. Finding and punishing the murderers is not the end of it. We must think within a broader and more far-sighted process.

Uğur Mumcu symbolized a set of moral values, a bundle of societal goals, and a system of values. He was the symbolic writer of ideas defended and elevated under the roof of the Republic. The trap set for Mumcu is a very bloody attack on this system of values. Therefore, to ensure 'Uğur's blood is not left on the ground,' we need to raise this flag.

We must emphasize one point before our writer is even buried:

Only if we can defend the secular Republic of Turkey and achieve participatory democracy will Uğur's blood not be left on the ground.

Today, we bury Uğur Mumcu.

There are many lessons to be learned not just from his life, but also from his death. Mumcu had a 'persistent pursuit of an idea,' and in this regard, he was exemplary in his stubbornness. The killing of Uğur is not an event that starts and ends with a funeral. The democratic forces of our Turkey must now escape from disarray and, so to speak, from devastation. Politicians, who squabble over minor interests - if they respect the right to life - must unify in a more comprehensive and far-sighted political approach.

If they continue to roar the politics of small interests and if the 'devastation' continues, the public should assume the responsibility to make its weight felt from the bottom up.

Then, Uğur Mumcu's blood will not be left on the ground."

This was the article read by everyone who was part of the sea of people at Mumcu's funeral on the morning of January 27, 1993. Hundreds of thousands of people walked the streets, imbued with the spirit of Kuvayı Milliye, chanting the lines "Look at the stones of Ankara, look at the tears in my eyes."

31 years later, as Sharia slogans are chanted in the streets and courthouses of Turkey, and politicians and public prosecutors remain silent, I tell the truth in line with this editorial: Mumcu's blood was left unavenged! That's the situation right now...

Therefore, I call on citizens who are in favor of democracy and the secular Republic: Do not remain silent!

I call on democratic civil society organizations: Make your presence felt!

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